Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Happy Diwali

Diwali is the Indian Festival of Light and falls between mid October and mid November each year. We celebrated Diwali with lots of exciting activities. 

One of the favourite activities was henna designs with real henna. Henna is a temporary tattoo, and the children enjoyed receiving a small tattoo on their hand. Once the henna dried the children washed it off and a pale brown tattoo remained.

We also had a vegetarian dal curry for the children to sample with basmati rice. Dal curry is made with lentils, and for some children it was the first time they had tried them.

We also dressed up in traditional Indian clothing, created rangoli patterns with coloured salt, and made diya to take home with tea-light candles and plasticine. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Mini Beasts and Creepy Crawlies

Today we were very lucky to have an entomologist (a scientist who studies insects) come to Discovery and bring some amazing bugs and insect resources for us to explore. 

We had fun catching mosquito larvae to take home, then looking at real live locusts, spiders, mosquitoes, snails, and worms. The children used a microscope to look closely at insects set into resin.

When we have visitors come to school to share their knowledge the children are fascinated to talk to them and enjoy the opportunity to learn from experts. Luckily our entomologist is a parent and volunteered his time and resources. 

If you have something (knowledge, resources, or time) to offer us for Discovery please mention it to a teacher. We would love to have you help out.

Today was also a special session as we had lots of new Mountaineers start their school visits. We call our pre-school visitors Mountaineers as they are 'scaling the heights of learning'. It was great to meet lots of new children and their parents. We encourage parents to stay for our Discovery session to provide support for their children, after a few sessions it is a good idea for parents to leave for a short time before returning for morning tea at 10.30.

Crazy Sock Day 2014

Check out the crazy socks we wore for out Dr Seuss Discovery session last term. Fox in Socks likes wearing his socks and our crazy socks were a fun way to remember some of the many enjoyable and slightly crazy stories Dr Seuss wrote.

We explored lots of Dr Seuss themed activities for discovery - including planting bean plants truffula trees, which grew 20cm over the holidays!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Ahoy, me Hearties!

Wow! It's been over two weeks since I last posted an update about what we have been up to in Room 4. Yesterday we came to school dressed in our pirate gear and explored like pirates for our Pirate Discovery session. We dug for gold, walked the plank and jumped into shark invested waters, drew treasure maps, folded newspaper pirate hats, threaded bracelets with special beads, made eye-patches, and created hooks for our hands just in case we need them! Whew....

Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and the whole school is dressing up like pirates. 

Here is some of the 'Pirate Talk' I've been practising:

Ahoy! - Hello!
Ahoy, Matey - Hello, my friend!

Ahoy, me Hearties! - the same as saying "Hello, my friends!"

All hand hoay! - comparable to all hands on deck

Avast ye - stop and check this out or pay attention

Aye - yes

Booty - treasure

Crow's nest - small platform atop the mast where the lookout stands

Cutlass - short heavy curved bladed sword used by pirates

Doubloons - other coins or found in pirate hoards and stashes

Head - the pirate ship's toilet

Heave Ho - give it some muscle and push it

Jolly Roger - pirate's flag including white skull and crossbones over a black field

Lad, lass, lassie - a younger person

Landlubber - big, slow clumsy person who doesn't know how to sail

Old Salt - an experienced sailor

Pieces of eight - coins or found in pirate stashes

Savvy? - do you understand and do you agree?

Scuttle - to sink a ship

Seadog - old pirate or sailor

Shark bait - will soon join Davy Jones' Locker

Shipshape - cleaned up and under control

Thar she blows! - Whale sighting

Ye - you

Yo Ho Ho - cheerful exhortation to demand attention

And you can create your own pirate name with this Pirate Name Generator.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Spring Has Sprung

I can hardly believe it is the 1st September. We wrote stories about spring this morning and spent last week learning about spring for Discovery. Last Friday (29th August) was Daffodil Day in New Zealand and is a fund-raising and awareness day for the Cancer Society. So some of our Discovery activities were about daffodils and Daffodil Day.

The children painted watercolour pictures of a jug of daffodils.

 And we made our own daffodil badges with yellow and orange cupcake cases.

I like how one of my children described it this morning - "the daffodils are waking up."

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Apple Fractions

We have been learning about fractions in Room 4, particularly 1/2 and 1/4's. 

We made sure to wash our apples before cutting them carefully into 1/2 then 1/4's. The children were excited to eat their pieces of apple in class and I was pleased to hear them describing their apple pieces using the fraction language we have been learning.

At home you can encourage the development of mathematical concepts like fractions by using words like 'half' and 'quarters' by using food. Asking your child if they want their toast or sandwich cut into half or quarters and the same with fruit or other types of food is a good place to start. One half is 'one out of two', and one quarter is 'one out of four'.

We have also made and cut up fairy bread as part of our learning about fractions.